ESL Pro League Season 13 Group D Preview and Predictions
The group stage of ESL Pro League Season 13 is almost all wrapped up! Two groups are finished. We already know which teams advance to the playoffs and have the easy way with the play-in stage. Group C is still up for grabs with one more round of matches to go. But that won’t stop us from taking a sneak peek at the ESL Pro League S13 group D!
First things first, here’s a quick look at the six participants!
- Evil Geniuses
- Team Liquid
It’s a pretty packed group; you have to admit. Five out of these six teams have decent odds of reaching the playoffs. Only poor Endpoint got labeled as the underdog. Rightly so, if I may add – they didn’t have any luck coming into this contest.
Don’t get me wrong, group B was the group of death, but group D isn’t far from it either. But, before we start digging around the six ESL Pro League S13 group D members, let’s see what happened at the event so far!
What We’ve Seen So Far
As mentioned earlier, groups A and B are all wrapped up! Heroic and NiP are through to the play-in round, where they’ll batte for a direct spot in the semifinals. Complexity, FPX, ENCE, and G2 are heading straight into the first round of playoffs.
As for group C, we already know FURIA and Gambit are through. What we don’t know is which of them will advance to the play-in stage. That’ll be decided with their final-round h2h clash. NaVi and C9 are still in the mix for the third spot, though the CIS powerhouse benefits from a tiebreaker thanks to their h2h win against Cloud9.
ESL Pro League S13 Group D Team Overviews
First and foremost, we need to emphasize that ESL Pro League groups are played in a single round-robin system. That means there are no winner, decider, and elimination rounds we’ve all gotten used to. Every team plays each other once, which means tiebreakers are possible. In that case, the first tiebreak rule is the h2h result, followed by map advantage.
Considering all that, let’s take a closer look at the five most notable participants (sorry, Endpoint, no hate)!
Team Liquid Looking for New Adventures
I’m not sure what to think of Team Liquid anymore. The worst thing is, I’m certain I’m not saying this for the first time. Once again, they are on a proper rollercoaster as far as performances are concerned. They are phenomenal on one event, and then they get eliminated by an unknown team.
And I’m not exaggerating; I’m not making this stuff up. Liquid went from finishing in the semifinals of the IEM XV World Championship to getting eliminated by PaiN Gaming in less than a month. And that’s not even the first time they’ve done it this year. Remember when they got denied BLAST Premier Spring Finals by Faze Clan after finishing fourth on BLAST Premier Global Finals? Yep, Liquid is all about them rollercoasters, my dudes!
On the bright side, EliGE’s performances are enjoying positive trends. He’s finally getting back his long-lost consistency. It seems as though he could be the difference-maker in Liquid’s roster. NAF has been solid too, but the same cannot be said about Stewie. He needs to wake up; we need to see him perform!
Virtus.pro Need to Qualify
Virtus.pro is one of the hottest teams right now! They’ve participated in three events this year and were top four on all of them. First place on CS_Summit 7, second on IEM XV World Championship, and third/fourth on Snow Sweet Snow No. 1. Mind you, though, VP got eliminated by Gambit on both occasions. Another important thing – they defeated Fnatic in the grand finals of CS_Summit 7. Why is that important? Well, they’re playing against them in the fourth round, a match that could decide a lot of things in group D.
However, Virtus.pro has a couple of aces up their sleeves; splendid form is just one part of the story. In addition to fine form, Virtus.pro also has a decent map pool. They’ve been honing it for ages on smaller CIS events, and now that they’ve successfully transitioned it to international waters, they look outright unstoppable.
Don’t even get me started on YEKINDAR! The boy is a beast; I’ll tell you that! That ease, that swag, that outrageous clutch potential, and raw game sense. I mean, the boy is a talent, and Virtus.pro better hope they can keep him home for as long as they can.
Of course, let’s not forget Jame! AWPing is an essential part of every team, and having a player like Jame makes things a lot easier. VP’s god-tier tandem, YEKINDAR and Jame, is the very reason their form has been so good.
Let’s stop talking about VP and focus on other teams in group D of ESL Pro League Season 13!
Fnatic as a Tough Contestant
Fnatic needs a solid result here! The Swedes have made a bold move signing Jackinho, and it’s safe to say their first few outings weren’t that good. Sure, second place on CS_Summit 7 was solid, but terrible performance on IEM World Championship and failure to reach closed qualifiers for DH Spring leave a big mark on Jackinho’s Fnatic start.
Though, it wasn’t Jackinho’s fault. Fnatic as a collective had a couple of poor performances, which resulted in awful results. The question is – can they make up for it? It all depends on the players! They didn’t have any roster alterations since that disheartening DH Qual elimination, so it’s on them to make their presence known.
If I had to pick a few positives about Fnatic, it’d be Brollan and KRIMZ. KRIMZ brings forth experience and composure, Brollan brings forth excellent dueling ability and that youthful spark! They can’t do everything on their own, though; they need every bit o help they can get from their teammates, especially in a group as tight as this one!
Let me be clear here – no one expects Fnatic to go through, not after their recent mishaps. But everyone seems to agree they might be a dark horse coming into this one. Their opening round clash against Liquid could tell us a lot about their group D aspirations.
Astralis as the Heavy Favorites
Despite failing to make a good impression on IEM XV World Championship, Astralis are still the favorites in group D! Thanks to Device’s splendid form. It’d be a surprise to see Astralis struggle against everyone except Virtus.pro because, you know, they got their ass whooped on IEM XV World Championship.
Still, that could’ve been a one-off thing. Astralis will have the opportunity to take care of the big bad CIS bears in the third round. Depending on how the bears play before that, they might even put the final nail in their coffin and send them back home.
But that’s not a likely scenario. The way I see it, that third-round match will decide the play-in contestant from group D. I reckon VP and Astralis will be strutting their stuff against other group members. They have the form, they have the quality, and they have the map pool. It’d be crazy if we see them fail to win their opening-round fixtures.
Evil Geniuses Hope for Big Things
Evil Geniuses will be in a wicked fight with Fnatic and Liquid for the third and final place that leads to the playoffs. And let me address the elephant in the room right away – I don’t think they’ll make it. It’s just a hunch, though, based on their recent results and form in general. But there’s one thing that could make or break EG’s ESL Pro League S13 performance.
As many of you know by now, Ethan is no longer playing CSGO professionally. He switched to Valorant late last month and forced EG to move on the transfer market quickly. They didn’t wait too long; oBo came rushing in to replace him following almost half a year since his last game for Complexity.
And oBo is a great replacement, an ideal one; a promising youngster wanting to prove to everyone that he’s one of the hottest CSGO prospects in the U.S. However, I don’t think we’ll see him at his best right away. He’ll need some time to adapt as EG has a different gameplay philosophy than Complexity. Once he does, we could see EG rise back to their former glory.
ESL Pro League S13 Group D Predictions
I wouldn’t be surprised if the group winner gets decided in the third round h2h clash between Astralis and Virtus.pro. Both sides have been phenomenal recently. True, they did struggle at times, but they are generally among the most in-form teams in the world right now!
As for the third place, it’s going to be a three-way battle between Fnatic and two NA teams, Liquid and Evil Geniuses. I wanted to side with Liquid at first, but knowing how they ended their DreamHack Open March campaign, I’m not sure about that anymore.
ESL Pro League S13 group D is going to be intense, that I can tell for sure!